Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly Challenge # 4 - Gift Wrap Center

This week's weekly challenge from Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons is to create a Gift Wrap Center.  I really love this idea and over the years have done a few things to try and make this happen but other things always seem to gain importance over either creating it or keeping the area clean.  I really love the way the guest poster created her space and am now kinda mulling ideas over in my head of 1) Where to build this little space 2) How to best make it work for me 3) When to do this project.  There is no way that this will get done this week - too many other things going on this week so I'm going to add this to my "Simplify" list for the year. (Check out my two current posts here and here)  Personally, I love to wrap gifts on my bed - it is the perfect height and there is a huge space to roll stuff out yet no real place to store the supplies.  BUT I have a space in the basement to do this as well . . so I'm not really sure which way will simplify the best. I'm still trying to figure out where to hide gifts in the future since all of old hiding places now house two little boys LOL  Here are pictures of my current "attempt".
 Sad, isn't it? LOL  I use the rolling cart to hold all of my tissue paper - which has been the best part of my gift center station.  The other container holds wrapping paper. 
Than, this is my table.  Yep, need to clean that baby off again - it doesn't take long it just is hard to find time to get downstairs to do this with the little boys :-)  See that big blue "thing" on the back of the table - that holds all of my bags.  I've learned a valuable lesson . .. you can have two many gift bags ;-)  I find I still end up buying more because there are so many stuffed in there it is too hard to search!! 

So, for now, this spot will have to wait but you will see it sometime this year as I simplify my life!

Happenings in this House

I just realized that I never posted the Happening's in this House post I usually do on Saturday's :-)  So, here are a few pictures from our week! (I realized that as I looked at pictures this week, I took a lot of pictures of "things" but not a lot of my family.  Need to change that next week)

We played alot and they even played together . . (and yes, Nate is not wearing pants . . again)

We ate Chocolate.

And today we are in the middle of a big snow storm. 

That's it!!  :-)

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify, part 2

Before I share my next Simplifying Projects, I wanted to show what I've done to accomplish my other goal task items.  Here are pictures and links for your browsing pleasure :-) You can check out the post here

I created my Home Management Notebook, put together my desktop file and cleaned up the top of my desk.

I decorated my bulletin board.  It has a map with photos from some vacations because we love to travel, my current Scripture Memory passage, and our Week at a Glance Calendar.  Plus I left room for any invites or announcements as they come in and need to be remembered!

My recipe binder removed the stress of having to type recipes - they are just printed on regular paper and life is good!

I tried and Savings Angel and love it - I'm getting tons of items for not a ton of money!

My files are very well organized and look pretty too!

So now, I'm on to my next items.  This time I actually am going to share the next three items.  One is a pretty big project which will, more than likely take the rest of the year which is why I'm including it here. 

Organizing our books, dvd's, cd's, movies and games.
This is a project that will complete a process I already started.  Several years ago I created a library list for all of the grown-up books we have.  This past summer I spent hours going through my books, cleaning them out, selling them and finally making sure that every book on my shelves were in order and on my list.  Considering the fact that I went from 6 bookshelves full of books down to only two shelves to hold them all, it was quite the feat! 
1. Go through games and clean out what is outdated, missing pieces, or just plain dumb (come on now, you ALL have those games that LOOKED good but just aren't) Cleaned out
2.  Move kids games upstairs to Nate's closet (which now has room in it!). Organized in his closet
3. Move grown-up games upstairs to our closet and organize in bins Actually moved to an empty bathroom shelf in the storage closet
4. Organize the monthly sensory bins on top of the laundry closet system. Done!
5. Figure out how I want to organize CD's and DVD's - I posted one way in this post but I'm not sure if I want to go that direction yet or not Done
6. Devise a storage system for the truck as well (to rotate DVD's from the vehicle to the house)
7. Sort through VHS movies and only keep what we really love - move VHS movies upstairs to entertainment center for better use
8. Sort through the kids books and sell the doubles or books we don't want; make a master list of all of the children's books that we have. I started this and realized it wasn't a wise use of my time; I had already sorted the books by age and that's good enough!
9.  Start rotating books from Josh's room to living room This was already done by age
10.  Hang up "gutter" shelves in each of the boys rooms for books. I remembered that we actually have gutters in our garage from the previous owner - ugly brown gutters BUT I'm going to try spray painting them and see if that works so that we can get this done :-) 

2. Bathroom - Finish it!
(yes, this is a stress for me - just those last few things to do and it will be done!)
1. Replace door knob
2. Clean off hinges (paint and rust)
3. Put in door stop behind door
4.  Do all touch up painting I have the paint -just need to take time to do it!
5. Finish up around tub - two pieces of trim that had to be replaced and the "trim" in front of the tub
6. But sealer around the top of the tub and add more sealer in cracks
7. Clean up the cabinets (they are organized - just need to be "picked up" a little and all of the bins labeled correctly)
8. Put the strip down between the hall and the bathroom
9.  Wait - I think that is it!!

3. Kitchen - the BIG project
To list all of the projects for this here, would be overwhelming to YOU! So instead I'm listing some specific items and some general - otherwise the list will be 10 pages hahaha
1. Clean the stairs - remove staples, last pieces of carpet and all of that dirt that the vacuum doesn't get.
2. Paint the steps and risers white - as many coats as needed
3. Tape off the steps/risers
4. Paint the risers (a nice brick red - it's pretty!)
5. Clean the walls in the stairwell
6. Paint the top half of the walls the kitchen color
7. Paint the bottom half the basement color
8. Add a new banister (painted white!!) {my parents will be THRILLED with this line item}
9. Paint the cabinets - paint, new hinges, knobs, etc etc etc In process!!!
10. Paint the counter tops (yep I just learned about this and saw the finished product by an average person like me - I am SOOO excited!)
11. Paint, paint paint
12. Put down a new floor
13. Replace the banister/half walk thingy that is just an accident waiting to happen.
14. Organize those cupboards (rethinking this whole concept to make them functional AND easy to keep up!) Done - this was more work than I anticipated but I like the final outcome
15. I'm sure there is more but I'll stop here!

My goal for the above items is simple.  I need to have the games/dvd's ect and the bathroom done by the end of February in order to hit one of the next simplify items which is seasonal driven (can you guess it has something to do with closets/clothes/and cleaning out!??) So it will be a busy month!